Girl sleepingIt’s the time of year when millions of Americans make their New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, lose weight or start exercising. I dare you to be different and make a resolution to get more sleep in 2013.

A good night’s sleep seems simple, but it can positively affect your health in many ways, including:

  • Eating healthier: People who are sleep deprived eat an average of 500 additional calories per day. Those extra calories add up to gaining an extra pound per week!
  • Increased energy: Getting the sleep you need gives you the energy to start exercising. Everyone knows regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle but exercising also helps you fall asleep and sleep more deeply.
  • Improved mood: Sleep helps to elevate your mood and manage stress.

Sleep is the perfect resolution to make you healthier and happier. Here are some hints on how to make sleep a priority in 2013:

  • Know how much sleep you and your kids need. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep, while school-age children need 10-11 hours and teens need 9 hours per night.
  • Create a quiet time 30 minutes before bedtime. That means no homework, energizing activities, TV or cellphones.
  • Be a good role model for your children. Everyone, including parents, should have a set bedtime.

Megan Grekowicz, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC– Megan Grekowicz, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, pediatric nurse practitioner, Sleep Center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

The Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is the only sleep center in the state dedicated solely to the care of children and teens. The center has two locations (Milwaukee and New Berlin) both accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and staffed by four board-certified pediatric sleep specialists.

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